Did you know?
- There are 4,000 species of cockroaches in the world
- Approximately 450 species are found in Australia
- Only 5 are considered pests.
What types of cockroaches are common in Australia?
- Oriental cockroach: dark brown/black, and medium sized
- American cockroach: black, and large
- German cockroaches: brown, and small.
They have triangular shaped heads, flat bodies, and legs used mostly for running or digging. Australian cockroaches range from 3 mm – 70 mm long.
Pest fact: Cockroaches can cause food poisoning, dysentery, salmonella, and allergies.
Allergies can cause severe bronchial problems in sensitive individuals and children.
What harm can be caused by cockroaches?
They can spread diseases to humans such as gastro and salmonella. Studies have found they also cause allergies. This is due to their dirty eating habits: they eat a range of food, including rotten food, very similar to a fly!
Bacteria can stay in a cockroach’s digestive system for months or even years! They contaminate the food we eat through their saliva and faeces – the main way diseases are passed to humans.
What should I watch out for?
Cockroaches are well adapted to living in urban environments. They easily squeeze through tiny cracks and can even get into buildings through pipes and drains.
Cockroaches love food – so they tend to be found around the kitchen and other areas that food is prepared and eaten. They feed off scraps and spills.
Their favourite hiding spots are:
- In drains and grease traps
- Tight spaces such as in a pantry, under cardboard boxes, under a stack of newspapers/magazines, or behind the fridge
- Cracks in walls
- Below sinks
How can I avoid cockroaches in my home?
- Clean up spills quickly
- Don’t stack newspapers, magazines, or cardboard boxes in the house
- Regularly clean underneath the fridge, toaster, stove, and other appliances
- Empty the kitchen bin regularly
- Make sure food scraps are cleaned off the floor quickly (especially with toddlers around)
- Store food in sealed containers
- Don’t leave pet food lying around in pet bowls
- Fill gaps where cockroaches might get in (use steel wool, and leave the shower/bath plugs in afterwards).
Find out more
- Cockroach or fly, which is dirtier (ABC North Queensland)
- Cockroaches (YouTube video)
- Cockroaches: Order Blattodea (Melbourne Museum)
Want to prevent or get rid of cockroaches?
Do you think you may have cockroaches at your place? Would you like to prevent cockroaches from becoming a problem?
Call Rusty on 1800 787 897 for advice and inspection.